17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Is Your Faith Worth the Leap?
By: Gene Parkland, 1.cbn.com
Abraham leaves Haran
(Abraham left his home to go where God would show him. He did not know where the destination was but went there by faith).
In today’s culture, many people have the opinion that we should live by our own standards, oblivious to the Word of God. Some want the blessings of the promises of God, without subjecting themselves to obedience to God. However, to truly be happy and fulfilled, we must examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word and live by it.
The Bible says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
The stress and tensions of life become more unbearable when we live in selfish disobedience to the Word of faith. Yet simple submission and obedience to God’s Word relieve the stress that disobedience and today’s culture impose. Doubt is crippling, but faith is empowering; so make that leap! Faith in action brings victory!
The Bible says in James 2:26, that faith without works is dead. I have learned that faith with works (action) is alive. Faith without works (action) can become an unfulfilled fantasy. For if I have faith that God is leading me, but I do not follow or act on it, then faith turns to doubt and my inaction leads to death; the death of my faith and the death of my dream. This is a horrible state in which to exist.
Unfulfilled faith creeps into one’s life like oil into water. Just as oil pollutes, leaving a nasty film which ruins the purity of the water – so doubt, solidified by inaction, covers the purity of faith; rendering it polluted, unfit, and unusable. Faith activated by works (action) skims the doubt that covers the water of life, cleans it, and recovers the purity of the gift that obedience brings to fruition.
We must be doers of the word and not just hearers. It is so human to hear the word, rejoice in what we hear, and then… ponder. Pondering plants seeds of doubt, which grows into the mighty tree of procrastination, that bears the poisonous leaves of inaction.
“But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (Psalms 1:2).
We must be like good soldiers and jump to attention, springing into action at the orders of our commander, the Lord. But what do we do instead? We hear the order and then prepare to jump, but inaction and hesitation cause us to get caught in the preparation, and we fail to jump. What a sad sight, to see the army of the Lord procrastinating before Him! How undignified!
It is better to jump and fall, than be stuck squatting down to jump. Squatting is a horrible place to stay. You can’t sit down. You can’t rise up. You can neither rest in your success nor stand in the knowledge of a job well done. Go ahead and jump! You can ask how high on the way up! Better to relieve the tension and stretch in the jump than to live with the constant strain of being stuck in the squat. Obedience in the jump is the better way. Make that leap of faith. We’ll see you on the way up!
MATTHEW 14:30-31 – WALKING IN FAITH
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31 ESV)
We have all dreamed of doing something great for God. These dreams might involve some form of sacrifice or great leap of faith. We see others around us who have sold everything to follow Jesus as a missionary in some far corner of the world and view them as a person of great faith. We maybe even aspire to be like them.
Consider this, if we had been sitting in that boat with Peter, we would have thought he was brimming with faith as he began to climb out of the boat and walk toward Jesus. But suddenly, something even stranger happened and Peter began to sink.That courage and faith he had in Jesus was getting smaller as he saw the wind and the waves getting bigger.
A true measure of a person’s faith then is not just the first step of their faith journey, but the subsequent steps thereafter. We deal with this every time we get excited about something, starting any given project only to stop halfway through because it was much more difficult than anticipated. The same thing happens when we believe Jesus would have us do something. We start doing it and it doesn’t turn out like we thought it would, or the ministry isn’t immediately growing, we begin to sink, losing faith in and sight of Jesus. What we must realize is that if Jesus has called us to make a first step, then he will provide a path for each step toward him after that.
By Faith: Trust and Obey
Gordon Pots, today.reframemedia.com
By faith Abraham … offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He … reasoned that God could raise the dead.
Hebrews 11:17-19 —
The Bible teaches that child sacrifice is detestable. In man-made religions people sacrificed their children to idols, and God outlawed that (Leviticus 18:21).
So why did God ask it of Abraham? And how could Abraham seriously prepare to do such a thing?
It was a test of Abraham’s faith, his commitment to God. How much did he trust God? Surely Abraham would gladly have sacrificed anything else—his tents, cattle, possessions—even his own life. But why his one and only son-of-promise, the joy and laughter of his life? This was the one through whom God had promised to give Abraham and Sarah a whole nation of offspring.
The Hebrews writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, states that Abraham prepared to do it because he believed God’s promises were stronger than death. Abraham believed in God’s power to resurrect his promised son, Isaac.
As for God asking for this sacrifice—well, human life does not belong to idols. They have no right to ask for human sacrifice. But human life does belong to God. And only God can give resurrection! He will resurrect all who trust and obey him. He will do it for Jesus’ sake.
Was not Jesus, the Father’s true Son, sacrificed and raised so that believing sinners could live?
Trust and believe that God keeps his promises.